calligraphy, desert landscapes, odd animal portraits

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Grief again

Having just returned from my deceased brother’s house and environs in Bothell, Washington about 72 hours ago, I am in a state of delayed reaction.  This is the first chance I have had to spend time at home alone for more than a week.  I spent all day today cleaning out old files and clippings.  I recycled a shopping bag-full of paper.  I also had already gone through my Old Magazine Collection, and put out stacks of (1940’s and 50’s) National Geographic, Arizona Highways, and Artist’s magazines I had stacked and shelved and never sorted.

While clearing out all this paper I started seeing all the dross, great ideas and sketches mixed together.  Last Thursday in my hotel room i pictured all my paints, how my art supplies are all nearly hidden, put where I can almost reach them.  and thought about consolidating and bringing them all together, somewhere.  I used to have my painting studio in the kitchen of this small apartment.  It was a pretty good arrangement that I just now realize I lost when Steve died.  His kitchen was for cooking, his front room for eating, visiting, band practice and watching TV.  My area was for sleeping, my quiet space, office, and painting.

Dealing with my grief for my brother has opened up the unhealed wound of Steve’s sudden death and the turmoil of everything that followed.  I am able to delete his out-of-focus digital photographs for the first time in 2 and a half years.

Kind of sad, looking at what I took photos of, and the bare walls–realizing this was during the time I had the shop.  Many of my paintings were there, too.  I think maybe I will move back into my painting kitchen now.

Dave's Nikon 024Dave's Nikon 0305.27.12_00

Darkness

It’s so sad, my baby brother has passed away.  I see now a photograph of him, taken just last fall.  Gaunt, haunted.  I had looked away.  If I had only known the pain, but yes, I did, I lived it.  I couldn’t stay in it with him.  This is me- haunted, but less so.  I am so sorry Dickiebird.

self portrait 2012

Canyon weekends

sketch.jpg

It appears as if I am doing absolutely no drawing or painting, although I am doing a lot of Art.  I am seldom at home, or in front of a computer, so the timeline has broken down somewhat.  Art and I spend a lot of time in Canyon.  He moved out of El Cerrito the day before we left for the festival in Iowa.  There was still some furniture and instruments that he finally got moved by the end of September.  Much of his stuff is still in boxes, rare instruments and treadle machines- one for sewing, one with bellows for accordion tuning- are in my storage space.

A friend gave me an iPhone in August, and my photo collection is mostly there now.   To get an image for posting I must email it to myself.  This weekend I drove to Canyon after work on Friday and came back to Essex before going to work Tuesday.  While there I helped Art dismantle the roof of the wood shed.  It will be leak free and cosy on a rainy afternoon, with maybe alternating clear and brick red corrugated panels.

DSC_0496

Art, the big truck, and Good Cat

My brother died unexpectedly on September 21, the Autumnal Equinox, but it is numbing, and affecting how I spend my time.  It hasn’t quite hit me yet.

BAAP

Now that I have spent a little time there, I see my vision for BSPco here, a community effort, alternative press, local projects, artistic, politically involved people.  It is somewhat of a miracle.  So valued there already, I was asked to oversee the “benefits” program, where I would coordinate resources for members who want to do their own printing projects.  What could be cooler than this?  Maybe staying at home, reading in bed with a cup of tea?  Or gardening, for $40 an hour in the fresh air and sunshine and weeds? We shall see.

On the other hand it seems a little cult-y, and like so many things I jump into, I wonder if I will need to jump out.  Like the Dharma Publishing volunteer gig, there are skills to learn and quantities of nutritious food.  Unfortunately, the big-screen TV news is on at meals, very bad for digestion   Last night, though, intending to leave early, I stayed for the movie, Cradle Will Rock.  I had seen it before but hadn’t focused on all the theatrical twists and turns.  I really enjoyed it, and there was a good bit of interesting discussion of context and WPA history before and after.

Sort of feels like high school.

I got to use the letterpress to score covers for the book of poetry they designed and published, then tape and put the covers on the bound poems Nate had done the layout for.

Also this weekend I did a little painting, and now I feel like I have a watercolor kit that works for me–the design colors, Kolinsky brushes, watercolor pencils, a bucket for water, and a brush pen.  Throw in a couple of random pens, one waterproof and one not, and a clear zip bag, and I am set.

cactus painting5kb.

Well, this is from a bad photograph of a painting, pastels and ink, that I gave to Jean Hooker some years ago.

UPDATE Summer 2016  I quickly lost interest in this project when, like Dharma, like BSPCo., I found myself working with solvents and toxic substances.  That was the limit–the TV at lunch was intolerable, and really there was nothing there to do.  The cult atmosphere was undeniable, and after Dickie died I just lost interest.

Print Shop!

Well, last weekend at a festival I happened upon a booth that caught my attention-  Bay Area Alternative Press.  What caught my eye was an illustration of a man running a printing press.  So I signed their list, and Art and I walked around the corner to look at the physical address on Alcatraz Avenue. I went over on Wednesday, then again today, to volunteer, and found myself printing posters on a giant Canon plotter, and cutting edges–this is what I do.  There are offset printers, binders, typesetting machines, computers, cutters, all sorts of professional equipment. It got me to thinking about my history and experience in the industry, and I decided to list what it is I have–it’s astonishing. I learned process colors from my Dad, a cameraman at his own Litho Shop–CMYK, as well as red, yellow, blue, green, before entering school.  In first grade I got an F in coloring for trying to make purple from red and blue crayons. In high school in the late 1960’s  Akron Ohio, I was involved in underground press layout and mimeograph printing. In 1970 I was a stripper at my dad’s shop Summit Litho Process Company, Akron Ohio. Tucson Arizona, 1972-4  I did cut and paste layout for the New Times newspaper.  In  Oakland CA, 1975-1984  at the Peralta Colleges– Laney College, I studied drawing and photography. At Merritt College, pastels and acrylic painting At Amsterdam Art: classes in painting from photographs Somewhere in here I took classes in Framing, and cutting mats for art.  1984-1985 CCAC, I studied watercolor, anatomy, textiles.  At  Dharma Publishing in Berkeley, volunteer hand bookbinding, case binding, signature sewing machines Independent study: botanical drawing, lettering, acrylic painting, photography, photoshop, color printing, editing, writing, layout, publishing. 2002-2008, editing, formatting, printing many articles and letters from prison, for Sara Olson.  2008-2011 Calligraphy studies at Albany Adult School. Owner, Berkeley Screenprint Co., 9/1/2011-4/4/2013

Seven Months Later

I haven’t been here blogging in seven months–well, who’s counting?  Just me.  A lot of time spent in Canyon (https://travelswithstevie.wordpress.com/canyon/)  which is all the way over in my Travel blog.  I may have to sort that out, drag it over here with a copy function–which isn’t available there, it appears.

I have begun a practice of drawing or painting–only once, actually, last weekend in Hayfork.  I am still searching for my watercolor sets and Kaweco and other fountain pens.   It doesn’t matter how many boxes and types of art supplies I have if i don’t use them.  It turns out what I really want to do is sit in bed and read.  I used to spend so much time in front of the TV just to be next to Steve, all that time is now my own.

Posting here a photo of less than half of a 4×5 foot canvas that is stored next to my bed, a painting that I call Dark into Light, sort of a self-portrait of me (off-camera) embracing the darkness–which is another post

big painting

4 day wkend+

What happened to Verteran’s Day?  Well, I’ve already had a 4-day weekend, so I am going back to work tomorrow.  Blasphemy!  But I’ll post a shot of my dad with his war injury (motorcycle accident) if I can find it.Bill in cast--Texas

Big change, though, hope it worked.  We moved the Furniture today, as per the drawing below–(Oct 7 post)– a little snug over here with 2 printers, but maybe that means more room on the other side of the studio.  i am pretty exhausted.  But also happy I am finding things I didn’t know I was looking for.  Consolidating the sewing stuff in the acorn dresser.  Didn’t move that, though.  It’s crowded enough here without moving it, and leaves room in the far south west corner for guitars.